Hello from Key West, This is Capt. Paul Tryon with Key West PRO Guides and TailChaser Charters, here with your April fishing report: Hello Spring! We have finally been seeing a break from the relentless March winds that we have been dealing with the last few weeks. The fish are showing up all over the place and I real good numbers. Looks as if this spring will be one of our best yet, here’s how things are shaping up!
The Gulf Stream has averaged between 12 and 35 miles to the south of Key West, we have had a few color changes pretty close, anywhere from just off of the reef in about 80feet to almost 310 feet of water. There have been quite a few Sailfish caught on the color change using live baits with a few Wahoo hitting the docks every other day or so. The biggest was more than 54lbs, caught by Capt. Robbie Nevius on the ‘Jerkwater’, what a hog! The slow troll has been the key in getting the larger ones to bite, we have had a pretty good showing of Speedos to use for live bait, the amount of hookups of Sails, Wahoo and Barracuda have once again proven these baits to be the best. The Black fins are starting to show pretty well on the deeper wrecks, the problem hasn’t been getting them to eat; it’s the large schools of bull sharks and huge Barracuda that are munching on them up right at the boat. We are still managing to get a few in the box, excellent table fare!!
Deep off the Reef:
Deeper off of the reef, the wrecks have started to produce more Amberjack and Almaco jacks. Jigging has been the way to go with hookups just about each cast. Our live bait situation is pretty good. We have plenty of Pilchards on the grass flats, lots and lots of 8-12” blue runners in the channels and plenty of big fat Threadfin Herring on the markers. When the currents are light and the wind is in the right direction, we have been anchoring up on the deeper wrecks and simply having our way with the fish! There are a few nice Black fin showing in the large schools of Bonita some of the Black groupers are still hitting the docks are in the 20-30lb range with a few more than 40lbs. Dropping whole ballyhoos to the bottom has produced nice Black and Gag Groupers along with my favorite the Mutton Snappers. Dropping a fresh live Ballyhoo to the bottom is sure to get nailed!
The Gulf wreck action is heating up nicely; we have been getting reports of large schools of Grey Snappers on the shallower patch reefs and huge schools of Cobia on the further out wrecks. When booking your charter, make sure whomever you pick has the proper Federal Gulf of Mexico Permits to get you out to the best wrecks. Many will tell you the fishing is great close to shore, but those wrecks are hit hard, just a little bit further makes all the difference in your catch! The wrecks and reefs out in the gulf are providing some great Cobia action, we have been limiting out each trip with the biggest to the dock at more than 52lbs. These brutes are hitting just about anything thrown their way and are providing some great fights. The Kingfish action has been pretty steady now, the school fish are in the upper teens to more than 20lbs. for an average and are pretty easy to get turned on. Most of the usually spots in the Gulf are producing limits each trip. We have also been slow trolling for them with great results, most in the upper twenties to mid thirties, great fighters as well.
Atlantic Wrecks and Reefs:
The yellowtails are here in good numbers and great sizes; the average has been between 2 to 4lbs., and they are very eager to feed. We usually fish the 60 to 110foot depths over the backside of the reef and set up a real good chum slick, where they stack up behind the boat turning the water yellow. Getting your limit this time of the year is pretty quick and easy if you know where to go. The Yellow jacks are taking over some of our better reef spots, these brutes are sometimes a bit tricky to get on the line, but great fighters and great eaters!
Tarpon, Tarpon, Tarpon!!! Finally they are showing up and in great numbers. All of our Flats and Backcountry boats are reporting multiple hookups on nice large fish. the key has been live bait and an early takeoff, before the sun gets up. There have been lots of really nice Permit around, you will find them feeding on the shallow flats where the water is a little warmer from the sun, also very eager to take you crab and run! As always the Barracuda and Sharks are all over the flats; just about any bait thrown their direction is sure to get looked at. Basically any species that you target on the flats will be a good choice for a very productive trip in January.
This is Captain Paul Tryon, Give me a call to book your day with some of Key West’s best guides here at Key West PRO Guides and have some fun fishing! Until next month, keep those reels screaming!
For booking information with Key West PRO Guides or TailChaser Charters, you can call me at 305-296-6602 or visit my website:
Capt. Paul Tryon